communiqué Magazine Special Inspirational Edition

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m a g a z i n e




nita A

WILSON Music & Ministry

Keeping her Family's Legacy Alive through

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Contents Table of


Promoted By Betrayal

Larry Young: The Living Legend of Quartet Gospel Music


Singing in the ‘Key of Love’


Transformational Reflection


Cheryl Pullins: The Global Branding Expert


Courage to Life Life Admist The Diagnosis of HIV


The Power of Influence


The Gospel Pearls 50 Year Ministry


Pastor Karri Turner: Resilience


Hope in the Midst of a Storm



Letter From The Editor


Minister Roosevelt Boles


Ray Leonard, Jr. #KnowBetterDoBetter


Ms. Anita Wilson


Rise: Ben Tankard


Saxophonist Isaac Parham




A Delightful Chat with Candy A. Dixon


Queen of Service

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Civil Rights Baby

After She Jumped


Thanks For Making Me Wait


The Social Experience


Letter from the Editor communiqué Magazine is an international publication that represents men, women, and children from several different countries. This is a Special Inspirational Edition. The goal is to leave you inspired. In this edition the intention is to give you, the readers, articles about people that are conscious about their legacy building through music, ministry, and all expressions of inspiration -while being pillars in their community and around the globe. Every person in this edition is iconic! There is a visual experience accompanying each article throughout this issue from beginning to end. We are honored to feature Ms. Anita Wilson as the cover story. She is an American gospel music singer, songwriter, and music producer. Her passion is evident in everything she does. I was inspired by our discussion and this article will give you valuable insight into the soul of a beautiful person. Anita cares. She loves the music, and she understands the business. She is a well-rounded professional and her music is superior! I am not only excited, but I am very honored to feature Anita Wilson in this edition. Every article features a story of inspiration and encouragement. Take the time to read each word and send a note of thanks, appreciation and support to the featured persons. Thank you for taking time to read communiqué Magazine. Everyone has a story. communiqué Magazine takes the message out of the story to deliver quality, relatable articles that inspire, teach, and encourage all readers. This special inspirational edition is dedicated to the people that raised me, the late Mr. and Mrs. Richard and Justine Doctor. They inspired me in a multitude of ways. They gave me the foundation of this life I live. It is a beautiful thing. I am forever grateful. Be an inspiration. Now.

With appreciation, C. communiqué Magazine




Living Legend of

Quartet Gospel Music

Shares His Secrets to Success and The Origin of Gospel Music Written By Alesha Brown In the gospel music world, it seems that there is always a controversy between what is acceptable versus crossing the line. There are various points of view between old school and contemporary gospel music that many feel blur the lines between spirituality and ungodliness. But living legend Larry Young is on a quest to not only teach the roots of gospel music but honor the legacy of those that pioneered it. With a legacy of touring almost every state in the United States and Alaska in his 50 plus year career; working with over 1,000 artists and teaching black gospel music at Yale University, he is more than qualified to do so. I had the pleasure to sit down with Reverend Larry Young for a lengthy discussion on the history of gospel music and what today’s young aspiring artists need to know to be successful. Reverend Young has received five Stellar Award nominations and one Grammy nomination for his work with Howard “Slim” Hunt and the Supreme Angels. He is currently on a journey to have award shows honor and respect the rich history of quartet musicians. And here is where the gospel music education and the story of a legend begins. Larry Young will tell you that gospel music did not start in the 70s, 80s, or 90s with contemporary artists and choirs but with quartets. Quartets, by definition, are an ensemble of four singers or instrumental performers (coming from the Italian quarto and Latin quartus meaning «fourth»). He talks about his and other quartet singers’ experiences during the civil rights movement. They could perform on stage but could not go to hotels and often had to sleep in their cars. Often they could not get gas and were hungry because there was nowhere for them to sleep. When they performed at churches, it was a tradition for them to sleep at some of the members’ homes. Not to mention that

in the 50s and 60s bass guitar music was considered “devil’s music” to churches. Young feels that if it was not for quartet singers, there would be no Kirk Franklin, Dottie Peoples, or John P. Kee. They would simply be artists playing for their local church. Understandably, it is troubling that these pioneers are not reverenced at today’s gospel award shows unless they pay for the privilege at pre-shows that are not aired or acknowledged on television. Born in 1955 in Vidalia Georgia, Larry started playing in quartet groups at the age of seven. He has worked with a plethora of gospel music legends and studio artists including the Highway QCs of Chicago Illinois (the group that singer Sam Cooke started with); Milton Bigham of the Georgia Mass Choir; Reverend Julius Cheeks & the First Baptist Church of Marshall Heights Gospel Choir, Glenn Jones and The Modulations, and the Swan Silvertones. His career was started at the infamous Savoy Records where James Cleveland’s had his hits and traveled with quartets where he received his start. Larry Young plays virtually all instruments including bass guitar, lead guitar, drums (snare and bass), symbols, bongo, congo, tong, trombone, organ, piano, and keyboard. He had little formal training and is mostly self-taught except for the trombone which he learned to play at Evans Junior High School in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. One part of his legendary gifts is that he grew up with the legends before he played with and for them. He played in his father’s quartet and repeatedly played an album of the Highway QCs of Chicago Illinois. (This was the group that singer Sam Cooke started with. It

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was under the tutelage of Spencer Taylor.) Young vowed to one-day play for them and his wish was granted when a friend called him and said they needed a guitar player. Previously he had met Spencer Taylor and spent time learning from his musicians and building a friendship with Taylor. Young went on to create five to six albums with the group and write five to six songs for them. Through Spencer Taylor, he met Milton Bigham of the Georgia Mass Choir. Bigham started using him as a studio musician and songwriter, which provided the opportunity to record with artists such as Reverend Julius Cheeks & the First Baptist Church of Marshall Heights Gospel Choir, Glenn Jones and The Modulations, and the Swan Silvertones. What would he advise today’s musicians? “Back in my day, you didn’t just jump up and sing because you could sing. Every group has a signature style. Learn your group’s signature style and harmony then you can blend into the group. If you’re singing with The Temptations, you have to learn how to sing the Temptations. If you’re singing with the Mighty Clouds of Joy, you have to learn how to sing Mighty Clouds of Joy. You can’t sing Shirley Caesar with Dottie Peoples. Everybody has their own signature style and that is what makes them a professional with hard work. You have to learn to hear the style and how to play the style.” Other tips for success: • If you want to charge people, make sure you have a resume. Too many of today’s artists want to charge what they feel they are worth but have no body of work to validate their stated price. • Skillset and talent alone do not entitle you to a certain salary in the music industry.


• Copyright your work. • Learn the industry: don’t just play or sing-learn about the recording, producing, writing, publishing, representation, etc. • Don’t just be in the audience; be behind the stage. • Do what you love and also do things that help others. A lot of what he has done was for the benefit of others, not wealth creation. Larry notes that a handicap with artists today is there is too much of a push to get out there and perform versus studying the industry. Most professional groups today only sing on the weekends. During his era, people went to gospel concerts any night of the week, so artists played seven days a week, sometimes twice a night. Larry managed to be a traveling musician while working full-time in law enforcement and working at several radio stations. He once worked for a radio station that was owned by Lynda Bird Johnson (President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter). Living Legend Larry Young shared a memory and the words from his grandfather and sealed his future. When he was eight years old, his grandfather took him to work in the cotton fields and the like. He remembered a burlap sack and earning small wages. His grandfather told him that he should “learn how to play that guitar and make it feed you” because he didn’t think he would have much success working in the fields. Larry Young has done just that and has opened doors for many artists during his 50 plus career span. He still does through his studio PSR (Professional Sound Recording) in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, where he works with churches and The Heavenly Stars quartet group. Follow him on Facebook:

Transformational Reflection

With Coach L.A. Perle’ Written by LaVerne Perlie

Back to Life Ahhhhhh !!!!!the exhilaration of breathing in fresh air. I love the feeling of exhaling too, especially after a long day, a life change, after exercising, while sipping tea, reading a good book, chatting with friends, giving birth, snuggling with a loved one, daydreaming, goal attainment, vacation, rest, and relaxation. Yes, do you agree that the thought of just inhaling and exhaling is rejuvenating and refreshing? At the beginning of every new week is an opportunity to reignite your vision. There are many facets of life that have the potential to diminish your light or cause one to become distracted and lose focus. We plan goals that we desire to obtain, some we achieve, others are put on hold, and for some, the plan never seems to get its footing for full execution. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global shift in our lives, economy, employment, communications, and health and mental well-being of people. This situation initially caught us all off guard, because we never saw it coming. Social injustice and problematic race relations has heightened as tension is rising. Daily, many are challenged by the events that are still occurring, resulting in wounds that never seem to heal but are constantly being reopened. Cities are experiencing violence at alarming rates and the statistics have not showed a decline, even in a pandemic. Some are experiencing issues in their relationships due to past struggles, insecurities, and difficulties, leaving them feeling incomplete and helpless. Due to the surmounting pressures of life, the mental state of many are either near, or at a breaking point . There is a fine line to fight to maintain one’s sanity, stability, and self-control to avoid losing it! People are angry, confused, frustrated, and sick. Because the examples I have provided are real, it is not hard to become absorbed in negative thoughts, fear, and doubt,

If you focus on these things solely, you will experience unhappiness and succumb to defeat. Yes, we do have some moments when we are down, but these moments should not extend for prolonged periods of time. We must focus on things that will inspire and encourage us to maintain our productivity, happiness, wholeness, and receive healing. Recently I experienced a profound heaviness which weighed on me to the point that sleep became unmentionable, and fatigue had started to overtake every ounce of strength I had. My moods were unpredictable, my smile diminished, and the social isolation had me mirror the image of a recluse. Recognizing that I was no longer the person I knew and had become, I decided to get off of the scene. I shifted my intention of my mental, health, and well-being. I wrote a letter to my life, I said goodbye to all of the things that I allowed to hinder my perspective and halted my progress on the path to purpose. I served notice to every cannot, will not, hold up, roadblock, and set back. I made a choice to reclaim my position and reestablished my purpose. I did some soul searching and selfreflection. Sometimes we have to turn everything off, shut down everything, and get BACK to LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is time to get back to reality and walk into a brand new place in my life. A place of peace, calm, and stillness in the midst of uncertainty. Motivated, encouraged, dedicated, and committed to YOURSELF!!!! Now, I am ready to move forward, and Sashay into my Destiny. AND…Everyone is invited to dance with me!!!!!!

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The Courage to Live Life Amidst the Diagnosis of Written by Corretta L. Doctor with Monique Howell Life is a gift. Treasure your life and live with the freedom of love in all that you do. Monique Howell is a woman of battle-tested courage and an undeniable presence of strength and faith. Monique is a single mother raising her three sons and two daughters in a beautiful, southern home, filled with love. Monique has every reason to lay down and wallow in her tears, but here is why she doesn’t: she is a Believer. In 2009, in Holly Hill, South Carolina, during church service at her father’s church, Monique revealed to the public, to everyone in the congregation and her family, that she was diagnosed with HIV. She immediately asked them to pray for her. From that moment, Monique has vowed to live a life of hope, while becoming an advocate for women and men living with the virus. Monique is a published author, a national advocate, a motivational speaker, and a filmmaker. We present our interview to you: communiqué Magazine: How did you find out you were HIV+, how did you get the disease? Do you think it was given to you intentionally? Monique: I was in the Military and was pregnant when I found out my status. I rather not state if I thought it was done on purpose...I was married at the time. communiqué Magazine: What do you do to help others that are HIV+? Monique: I’m now an Advocate-Motivational speaker that shares my personal experiences living with HIV to help others and show others that there is still life after a HIV Diagnosis. communiqué Magazine: What are the biggest misconceptions that men and women seem to have about being HIV +? Monique: One of the biggest misconceptions is that people still think you will die, and that HIV is a death sentence. However, it is not; many positive people are living longer and healthier lives. communiqué Magazine: What are your strongest words of encouragement for a person that is just finding out they are HIV+? Monique: A person that is just finding out their HIV Positive I would tell them to “Love themselves”


communiqué Magazine: How long have you lived with your diagnosis? Monique: For 14 years I have been living with HIV. communiqué Magazine: What has been the most rewarding part of your life, regardless of the HIV diagnosis? Monique: The most rewarding part of my life is the continuation of being a wonderful Mother to my children, waking up each day knowing I still have LIFE! communiqué Magazine: Why did you decide to create the film, A Silver Lining, what is the purpose of the film? Monique: I decided to create the film “A Silver Lining” to add another avenue or platform of sharing my story of overcoming different adversities of living with HIV. The purpose of the film is to tell others that no matter what storms we face in our lives that we must find that silver lining within that story and come out on the other side through our strength and determination. communiqué Magazine: As a Mother living with HIV+ what are some things you teach your children about the disease? Monique: My children are my little advocates. I educate all of them on HIV and making healthy and wise choices in life. I also tell them that HIV don’t bite and they should never be afraid of me....which they are not. They love their Momma! communiqué Magazine: How do you deal with the stigma associated with your diagnosis? Monique: I deal with stigma by changing that person’s negative thought process into a positive thought. I try not to allow stigma to get the best of me. Education is the key, so I present them the educational part and I show them how stigma still won’t allow me to be afraid of who I am. Monique stands firm in the mission of helping people understand the importance of being educated about living with HIV. Sure, it gets hard and certainly there are times that she too needs a shoulder to cry on, but nothing in this world can dampen her spirit for living her best life and loving every minute of the life that God Blesses her with. Monique will be in Newark, New Jersey at a film screening of her movie, ‘A Silver Lining’. Visit to learn more.

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The Gospel

Written By Paula Bernette Brooks

Gospel music is a form of Christian music that evolved from the oral tradition of African-American slaves in the 1700’s. It can be traced back to hymns and spirituals first sang a cappella in a call and response fashion, often accompanied by hand clapping and foot stomping. Musician and historian, Eric Reed discusses “The Roots of Gospel Music” in a series for the Lincoln Center in New York that can be found on YouTube. He states emphatically, “To be clear, gospel is not a style per se. The word itself refers to an accounting or a message. In the Christian religion, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the ‘Good News,’ or the news that Jesus lives. That’s where the term comes from. So, its music that is preached from 12

50 Year Ministry

the Bible and applied to singing, that tells of biblical stories, biblical characters, God and the like.” Reed goes on to say that the term “gospel music” was penned in the late 1800’s, and it was a distinct difference from the hymns that originated in the 1500’s and 1600’s. Gospel music gained popularity because it was easier to sing than standard hymns. In the 1920’s Rev. Thomas Dorsey became known as the father of “gospel blues,” a merger of the two art forms. He moved from Georgia to Chicago and Chicago became known as the birthplace of gospel music. Artists like Mahalia Jackson, Louis Armstrong and Jellyroll Morton were all contemporaries

in Chicago at that time, and the popularity of Gospel the interview, but her “Sisters in Christ” were eager music soared. Quartets could be found on street corners to tell her story. Bea wasn’t able to attend the Pearls singing gospel music in four part harmony. 47th Anniversary celebration in 2017. She was still hospitalized from having three aneurysms within the Fast forward to 1970 when the Gospel Pearls, a female same month! “We actually called her in the hospital from quartet group from Washington, D.C. was formed! None the stage! My God, when those people heard her voice, of the original members are still with the group, although the audience just went up in fire! A lot of people had spokesperson and booking manager, Paulette Gooden heard that she had three aneurysms, and they thought has been with the group for forty-eight wonderful years! she was gone,” Paulette exclaimed. Verna continued She fondly recalled how she became connected with “Bea said she would never sing again, but I told her, you the group, “It was a family group and we all attended never know what God’s plan is! She had to learn how the same church. I started following the group around to talk again in rehab. But we serve a mighty God! He’s because we were all in the same Gospel Chorus together. been very gracious to us! He looks out for us when we I don’t know how I got in the group, because I sure don’t look out for ourselves!” Verna exclaimed. couldn’t sing like they did! But I came in as the person who handled all the business.” Other Gospel Pearl Verna then continued with her own testimony, “The members include Bea Cooper, Verna Locus-Hillary, Lord has brought me through a lot and He’s still doing and the newest member, Sallie Alvin. Verna joined the it! A while ago I had lost my eyesight and the others had group forty years ago and reminisced about growing up to lead me around. I thought I’d never see again! But in the same neighborhood and knowing all the original He gave me another chance. I had just remarried when members. Bea was the next to join the group. my diabetes took over. I mean I could sit right in front of the TV and couldn’t see a thing! Believe me when I When asked if they feel their music is still relevant, say God does amazing things! We have to give Him the they answered as one with a resounding “Yes!” Paulette praise! I’m blessed!” went on to explain, “We’re not traditional; they call our music ‘old school stomp gospel!’ We all have a personal testimony, and we talk about what God has done for each of us over the years. When we sing, we also testify about what we’ve gone through and relate it to the song. You’d be surprised at the number of people who come up to us afterward and tell us they’ve been through the same thing, or a similar situation.” Say for instance, there’s a song that Bea sings called ‘The Storm.’ At first, when she couldn’t talk about what happened to her, I would tell her story. I’d talk about how she had three aneurysms! It took a while before she could talk about it and testify. She still gets filled up, because we thought she was gone! It was nothing but God that brought her through! We try to live the life that we sing about!” Bea was the only member of the group that couldn’t be present for communiqué Magazine 13

Paulette chimed in and said that’s another song that we sing, “I’m Blessed, Better Than Blessed.” She continued earnestly, “It’s one thing to stand up and sing some words on a page, but when you can relate to what you’re singing; my God that’s a different story! So many people have told us that the anointing shows when we sing! I’ve stood up on the stage and sang on crutches, in a lot of pain! I had three back surgeries since I’ve been in this group, but He brought me through every time!” Verna’s daughter, Chevela Garvin, has her own gospel group named “Chevela and the Spiritual Voices.” The Pearls said they owe her a huge favor for singing with them while Bea was recovering. Chevela’s band also backs up the Pearls when they perform. They are particularly grateful for two keyboard players who have stuck with them through good times and bad. Brandon Adams has been playing behind the group for twentythree years and Charles Curry has backed them up for twelve years.

So you see, every member of the Gospel Pearls has a testimony and a reason not just to sing, but to edify God and give Him praise! Their advice is, “Trust God for everything!” They have performed at venues across the United States that include the Lincoln Center in New York, the Wolf Trap Foundation of Performing Arts in Virginia, Corcoran Gallery of Arts, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute, to name a few. The Pearls have performed with many renowned gospel quartets including Shirley Caesar, The 5 Blind Boys of Alabama, and The Jackson Southernaires. They have been proud recipients of the “Best Dressed and Best Performance Female Quartet Group from 1998 to the present, given by the Washington Metropolitan Area Quartet Association. Their latest CD is entitled “Walking With Jesus,” and includes inspirational songs such as ‘Storms In Your Life,’ ‘Working On The Building’ and ‘Keep The Faith.’ For more information call or text Paulette Gooden at 301-266-6042 or email

The Pearls were ecstatic when they connected with Sallie, We thank our industry friend, Patricia B. Sewell for the and in January invited her to become the fourth member introduction to the Gospel Pearls and appreciate her of the group. They were in the process of planning for efforts in coordinating this interview. their milestone 50th Anniversary, scheduled for May of this year. Unfortunately, they had to cancel it when the coronavirus shut everything down in March. Amazingly, Sallie had been singing with another group, the “Singing Angels” for 49 years. She was really looking forward to singing and serving God with The Gospel Pearls, but for now that will have to wait until they can safely perform again. Like the other group members, Sallie has an inspirational testimony. She spoke candidly about marrying in August 2006 and having a heart attack in November of the same year! “My husband had dropped me off at a church to sing and left to perform in a concert with his group. While I was singing I started perspiring. I never even thought about a heart attack and as bad as I felt, I was determined to keep singing. I told the other group members that I had to go outside and lay down. They took me home and by the time my husband got home, I was too weak to do anything! He picked me up, put me in the car and drove me to the hospital. When I got there, they took me by medevac to another hospital.” Sallie found out she had a blocked artery, but miraculously she made a full recovery! Her cardiologist even told her that she no longer needs to see him! 14

HOPE in the Midst of the Storm

Written By Tisha Roberson I can recall being a child prancing around with ponytails and having a tender heart for the outcast. I was sassy, outspoken, bossy, and petite for my age. However, I had a zero tolerance when it came to bullies. I remember as a teenager befriending kids who were labeled “outcast” by our peers. I grew up in a predominantly “African American” community in Atlanta. Unfortunately, during my time kids were often teased relentless. I detested seeing people ridiculed for characteristics or circumstances beyond their control. I vividly remember during our first

year of marriage, my husband and I attended a Christmas party during his enlistment in Alaska. My husband is a small man in stature with a high metabolism. We are from down south where there is plenty of home cooking! He grew up “stuffing his face” and still could not gain weight! Ha! Anyways, A Chief Master Sergeant was standing in the center of a large crowd. It was obvious he loved attention and did not mince words. He said boldly to my husband something like “Boy you look like you need to eat!” My husband was not intimidated or ruffled communiqué Magazine 15

up. However, I I responded back in a sassy voice “ You look like you need to stop eating!” The room became extremely quiet, you could probably hear the sound of hearts beating throughout the cabin. As I began to blossom as a woman, grow spiritually, I developed a “soft spot” for the Special Needs Community. It was foreign growing up and uncommon to know families who had a child with “special needs.” Our best friend’s son was diagnosed with Autism. They had relocated from England to a local Air Force base in our area. Their son was three years old. During that time Autism was not widely known or diagnosed. Their home was a chaos zone! Their son was non-verbal during the time, making strange noises, running all over the place, and having tantrums. He rarely responded or paid attention when they tried to redirect his behavior. My heart instantly went out to my friends. They no longer had a normal social life and stopped going to church due to their son’s behavior issues. They did not have much help and their family lived thousands of miles away. My family became intentional about connecting with their son, being a source of support, speaking words of encouragement, and praying fervently for them. They are now doing well as a family and their son has improved tremendously. Years later, it truly hit home in a personal way. I was pregnant with my second son while living and working on a ranch in the middle of a desert helping “at risk” youth. My baby was diagnosed with a birth defect that causes complex, medical issues. The day he made his debut into the world was a literal nightmare! His medical complications were far worse than expected. He spent ninety-one days in the NICU! Our lives were “flipped upside down” and forever changed! I often felt alone and that no one understood. My son is now seven years old. He was not expected to live past his first year of life. He has numerous “special medical needs.” However, he is thriving, and 16

we are in a better place! I have learned how to find “Hope in the Midst of the Storm”, which is the title of my new book. It was “number one new release” on Amazon in its category the first weekend it was released! I have talked to many Parents and Caregivers over the years, who have a child or loved-one with special needs. Many are weary, stressed, lonely, hopeless, and feel isolated. My book is about my journey of having a “special needs child.” It includes humorous and memorable moments of living and working on an “at risk youth” ranch. It encourages others that are experiencing life’s hardships. In addition, it highlights: Dealing with Grief, Utilizing Self Care, Managing Family Life, Cultivating Marriage, Sustaining Relationships. Facing Challenges, and Celebrating the Small Victories. I have had positive and heartfelt reviews and feedback. One lady expressed for years she dealt with grief from the inability to have more children. My book was instrumental in helping her to identify the issues and to make peace with the past. The “special needs families” have been a “forgotten community” for many years. The amount of kids being born or diagnosed with “special needs” have increased drastically. My desire is to bring awareness, encourage, and to inspire people from all walks of life how to embrace finding “Hope in the Midst of the Storm!”

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Promoted by Betrayal – a new release by Prophet Carey Gidron, Sr.

Prophet Carey Gidron, Sr. has been preaching since he was a teenager and his work in ministry continues to help people heal and grow. His newly released book, ‘Promoted by Betrayal: The Tenacity To Be Exceptional’ is a heart wrenching story that discusses the trials and tribulations believers face on the road to spiritual elevation. More than a memoir, this book explores the results of putting personal gain ahead of the will of God. It instructs readers how to align with God’s word even through difficult times. The author shares various stages of stagnation and growth and ultimately reveals that sometimes spiritual prosperity may be birth from personal betrayal! Prophet Carey is clear on his teachings and his desire is that readers will spend time understanding the value of forgiveness and come to really know how forgiveness works. He tells us, “God can use you no matter how wounded you may be. If you are willing to deal with the wound, you can access the victory.” Molested by a family member, the author chose not to reveal the person. IT was in his pre-teen days when he was repeatedly abused. He carried that pain and shame and confusion in his heart and mind for decades until finally he was moved to talk about the abuse. At age 28, Prophet Carey chose to address the pain of the abuse he suffered


at the hands of his family member. He repeatedly questioned himself, asking what did he do to deserve such a horrific offense being taken against him? The abuser actually opened the door for Prophet Carey to approach him, and more importantly to forgive him. Through prayer, communication, and understanding it was revealed to Prophet Carey that his abuser had also been molested by someone else in the same family. By addressing his own painful past of being a victim of childhood sexual trauma, Prophet Carey uncovered a generational problem within the family. Prophet Carey has four brothers and one sister, his Mother Brenda worked in the medical field and his father, John Gidron, Sr. was a preacher. He is married to First Lady D. Michelle Gidron and they are raising a beautiful family of leaders. To say the least, F-A-M-I-L-Y means everything to Prophet Carey, and he is breaking chains and barriers with his testimony. He stands firm on the Word and allows nothing, not even the spirit of fear, to enter his atmosphere. Prophet Carey does not identify as a victim of child sexual trauma. He uses his pain as a means of expression in the fight against child sexual trauma and abuse – physically and mentally. For relaxation, Prophet Carey loves to spend time fishing. Lady D enjoys art. They are a beautiful couple inside and out, and they live their life according to the principles on which they preach. Their life is filled with the love and abundance of family closeness along with their growing ministry in Chicago, Illinois at Amazing Life Church located on Halsted on the south side of Chicago. Licensed at age 16 and Ordained at age 18 by Bishop Lee Evans, Prophet Carey has over three decades in ministry. HE is a beacon to many and offers his counsel, leadership and mentorship to all. Visit and be sure to order a copy of Promoted by Betrayal: The Tenacity To Be Exceptional. Click here to purchase: Purchase the Book Now

ChrisJasper Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Chris Jasper is a living legend that is still belting out sounds that are memorable, relevant and filled with love for God and all humans. Chris has a close relationship with God, and he is a family person. He has been married for a number of decades to his beautiful wife Margie, and they live in New York. All of their children are adults and doing well in life. Chris is a renowned former member of the Isley Brothers and Isley-Jasper-Isley and is responsible for writing and producing the majority of the Isley Brothers music from 1973–1983 and IsleyJasper-Isley music from 1984–1987. His arrangements and instrumentation as a classically-trained musician, and his expertise on the keyboards and synthesizers, are the foundation of the legendary sound that we knew as the “Isley Brothers Sound.” When the six members of The Isley Brothers disbanded in 1984, Marvin and Ernie Isley joined Chris Jasper and formed Isley-Jasper-Isley. With the formation of Isley-Jasper-Isley, Chris brought his “unique

sound” and musical talents to the newly formed group as they topped the chart with Chris’s lead vocals on “Caravan of Love” (1985), a song that was covered by English recording group, the Housemartins, and became an international #1 pop hit. “Caravan of Love” was also used in commercials as a part of a Dodge Caravan advertising campaign. Chris was awarded a CEBA Award for Excellence for a Miller Brewing Company commercial. The music from this commercial was the basis for the song “Brother to Brother” from the “Different Drummer” album, which supported the anti-apartheid struggle going on in South Africa at the time. His music has also been used in radio and other television commercials, including “Who’s That Lady” (Swiffer) and “Between the Sheets” (L’Oreal). In 1987 when Isley-Jasper-Isley group disbanded, Chris took his “unique sound” to his own solo projects, topping the charts with “SuperBad,” a song promoting the value of education. Chris has continued to write songs and produce his own R&B and Gospel music, and he writes and produces for other artists under his independent record label, Gold City Records. There have been many

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Legendary Musician Chris Jasper is Singing in the

Key of ‘Love’ Written by Corretta L. Doctor with Reginald Kearney established recording artists who have covered and sampled Chris Jasper’s music, such as Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Fantasia, Will Smith, Alliyah, Queen Latifah, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Natalie Cole, Jaheim, Kendrick Lamar, and the list goes on. His music has also been used in several movie and television soundtracks. In 1992, Chris, along with the other members of The Isley Brothers, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, and in 2014 received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, Chris received the German Record Critics Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, Chris was awarded the National R&B Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Chris also received the BET Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous ASCAP awards. (Bio. Of Chris Jasper, Gold City Records). Chris was the main keyboard player, but he did play the bass and lead guitar on some songs. It was a good working relationship between the three younger members: Chris, Ernie and Marvin. It was a big age difference between the younger members and the older members. They all worked together doing the music, Chris wrote most of the songs, but Ernie wrote too. Marvin passed away in 2010. Chris tells us that the key to his longevity in the music business has always been about the music. He started out being trained as a composer and songwriter from the age of seven. “I had a great piano teacher and he would teach me compostion and how to analyze music and what composers were doing. From that experience I developed this thing of when I come up with an idea, I complete the idea and I record it so I can have a permanent fixture. So, I am just used to writing and composing and I think that over the years you just develop that, and you just can’t turn it off ”. Chris says, “When we toured as Isley-Jasper-Isley we did play some of the songs from the group. Now my latest album I went back and recorded some of the songs I wrote for the group, such as “For the Love of You,” “Once Had Your Love,” “I Can’t Let Go,” and, “Go for What You Know.” I went back and did some of


these songs because I got request for them from people. This album is a cover album”. We asked Chris, with your new project, is it a slow jam album with soothing love songs or do you have some upbeat songs also? “Most of it is but then “Go for What You Know” is a funk jam, and this is how I end the album. I also went back and got Sam Cooke’s song “Nothing Can Change This Love” and Marvin Gaye’s “God Is Love.” It’s a variety of songs.” Chris recently released his 16th self-contained solo album “For The Love of You”- a mixture of new renditions of some of the songs that he wrote for the Isley Brothers, and his take on some soul and pop classics. Chris continues to bring that “Isley Brothers sound” he created for music lovers everywhere. You can find more information about Chris at Or www.chrisjasper. com.

Cheryl A. Pullins The Global Branding Expert Written by Corretta L. Doctor A humble and honest woman, Cheryl takes her time with her work. She uses your energy and your passions to build a plan on how she will help you succeed. Her ability to get clients from point A to point Z is impressive. She studies the person, the product, the service, and the client’s goal with full intention to deliver a solution. We all know what we want our business to look and feel like to potential clients; Cheryl Pullins will get you to that place. Remember YOU encompass your brand. You reflect everything you offer to others. A few things that I have learned from Cheryl over the years include: • Align your walk with your words. • Practice the art of compassion. • Master communication. • Lead from your heart.

Cheryl A. Pullins has been around the world talking to men and women about branding. Last year she was in Paris, France. Next year she will be in Reykjavik, Iceland! Today we are going to introduce you to the heart and soul of Cheryl, and from that you will understand what branding means to her….and why branding must be important to you, too. Who is Cheryl A. Pullins? Cheryl was born in New York City, New York and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With more than 20 years of corporate Human Resources experience, 4 years of publishing a magazine for women, plus 10 years of running her own coaching practice with the addition of a branding agency, Cheryl has long been in the business of helping her clients elevate their star power. Some of her titles are Personal Branding Strategist, Women’s Empowerment Advocate, who was featured at TEDx, Success Coach, Corporate Trainer and let me add, friend. Cheryl is serious, fun, and smart. She is conscious, and courageous, in her quest to empower business professionals to stand up, and stand out, with their brand. Cheryl represents her work in all she does, and says.

Have you ever heard the saying, “the hairdresser cannot do her own hair”? It does not apply to Cheryl. If ever there is an ICON in personal branding, Cheryl wears that title boldly, and literally. Her remarkable love of lip colors from brands such as Tom Ford and M-A-C along with her vibrant wardrobe and stylish eyewear have set the stage for Cheryl’s colorful presence in any room. When she stands in front of the audience to teach, the words we all need to hear flow so easily as she paces her speech in an effort for every person in the room to absorb the lessons on designing a brand that will produce revenue. No need to look good and not be noticed, so in order for you to produce an income from your iconic brand, Cheryl takes her teachings a step further and shows you how to expand your brand. From podcast development to social media engagement, Cheryl knows how to engage with existing clients and build relationships with new clients while also connecting to new potential clients. Working with Cheryl is seamless. She doesn’t haggle about her services or the prices you will pay - her business acumen is spectacular and her mission in business is clear. You need to grow your presence in the marketplace - the new global economy and Cheryl is the answer to that need. The world is speeding up. Instead of conference rooms and board rooms, businesses are now flowing through the digital spaces at the speed of light. You have to have a brand that exceeds the basic requirements of a logo, a title, and a color scheme for your website. Don’t fail your business by improperly branding it. Cheryl Pullins has successfully established, reinvented and grown the brands of many professional companies. Get started now. Visit

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The Power of

In flu e n c e Dr. Eric L. Holmes Author of The Power of The Seed

When you think of influence so many things come to mind. Most of us think of those in control or in high places. Seeing it from a spiritual perspective you see it different. Then to see power and influence you add more to it. We all have some kind of influence good or bad. I choose to use my influence in a positive way. I go into the community and I share with others and encourage them. In today we must be able to help and inspire others with positive influence. In life influence can be life changing and every word can effect change positive or negative. Will you make a positive change? But we must learn and continue in the things you learn but remember who you learned them from.


I have been able through the teaching of my book The Power Of The Seed sharing about how powerful seed is when sown properly and the process of sowing seed. From the natural and spiritual aspect of sowing seed. As men let’s take our rightful place in our families, our homes, our communities and our churches. We have great influence and we can make a difference. Men of valor you are important and you are valuable. You are protectors your presence makes a difference. Truly I have tried with every opportunity I am afforded to share positive influence and make a difference. So in life we look at things from another perspective and perception and always see the best and make great and positive influence.


“ hen you look at your deficiencies, you start discovering your qualifications.” -Pastor Karri Turner

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Karri Turner:

The story about a young girl that transitions into a woman that is based in resilience is the heartwarming testimony of Pastor Karrianna ‘Karri’ Turner, M. Div. 2 Corinthians 9:8, KJV: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work”

Born into this world, to an 18 year old young girl that worked in a hotel laundry room, Pastor Karri says, “I came from nothing and was two generations away from being a maid and housekeeper.” Her beloved Mother worked to give a good life to a beautiful baby girl, and she introduced Karri to Jesus. Karri’s life speaks to God’s promises, and she admits “Life was tough, there was so much heartache. My pain started at age three.” Derived in poverty, young Karri endured sexual and physical abuse. She didn’t find solace in the neighborhood kids, she even told her Mom about her lack of friends. Her Mother quickly proclaimed, “You do have friends! Jesus is your friend, now go play with Jesus!” Karri would often look for an outlet, and soon enough she learned how to avoid some of the aches and pains of abuse by being absent. She would wait for the green van with the unforgettable green panels on the side to pick her up to take her to church services. Church became her safe haven. “Church saved my life. I began to learn what my own voice is by going to church,” says Karri. “When you look at your deficiencies, you start discovering your qualifications.”- Pastor Karri Turner The post high school plans for Karri had nothing to do with ministry. Her plan was to be a politician. She tells us that she did not look like, sound like nor come from a family of pastors. “When you look at your deficiencies, you start discovering your qualifications.” Everything she didn’t think she could become, she effectively became the very best at! Karri is grateful. Often she still finds herself asking the age old question, “Am I adequate?” It does not matter how many degrees a person has or how many titles they hold, you may still find room for questions. Just like me, Karri doesn’t automatically agree with old adages. For example, I share Karri’s sentiments that ‘The teacher does not always show up, even when the student is ready’. “Many people are ready, but have not come into the right people to help them get started.” Karri believes that God will not allow people to put too many hands on us. Her program, ‘The Nudge’ is designed to help women build strategy behind their vision. It is a three month program to help women move forward and understand the strategy needed to support the expected outcome and


productivity of their vision.

As a public and professional speaker, Karri says that her most rewarding triumph is watching people become. Speaking to audiences of any size and magnitude gives Karri the opportunity to watch people be inspired. Speaking to youth is at the top of her favorite group of listeners. Her level of understanding, compassion, and love for youth is genuine and relevant because of her own childhood experiences. She did not always have everything she needed. Karri says, “Children are competing with more worldly things now than ever before. The method of teaching is different, and you cannot make children conform to what ‘was’. Children need to see consistency in you.” I am sure we can recall the days of being in church service and hearing the adults tell the children to sit down, be quiet, and hush up! The times we live in call for us to allow the children’s voices to be heard. Karri says, “Find a place in ministry where children can be creative”. One topic that is near to Karri’s heart is her talk titled “Life Beyond the Collar”, a look at life for women navigating the pitfalls of ministry + marketplace. Clergy is universal. Karri is a national and international award-winning speaker with a specific focus on women in ministry + marketplace. She also shares her expertise in the following areas: • • • • • • • • •

Leadership in Ministry + Marketplace Vision Cultivation + Execution Spiritual Capacity Building Strategic Planning + Focus Signature Program Design + Development Personal Advocacy + Agency + Accountability Transformational Leadership Self-Branding + Publishing Entrepreneurship

It is no doubt that Pastor Karri Turner is successful in her ministry and her life as a mentor, coach and friend to many. She is an iconic leader that makes no excuses for her greatness and is humble enough to share her story of tough beginnings without shame or regret. To reach a person at their core, it is best to understand their heart and the things that make them personable. We asked Karri about some of her favorite pastimes and hobbies. She shared with us that she is an avid reader and one of her favored books is ‘The Game

of Life and How to Play It’ by Florence Scovel-Shinn, a book where the author established herself as one of the most down-to-earth, practical, and helpful prosperity writers of her era. With a timeless message and the ability to explain success principles and how they work in an entertaining style, her writings are still considered the leaders in prosperity literature today. As for vacationing, Karri does not like planned and blocked trips. She likes to create a travel experience and loves to be free to enjoy the atmosphere while on vacation, and she especially loves to vacation near water. She loves ‘car trips’ and once drove a convertible up the pacific coast from Los Angeles to Malibu, it was refreshing. Watching movies is therapy – Karri loves to grab a blanket, some cozy socks and eat snacks while enjoying some good on screen entertainment. Life does not have to be complicated. Karri reminds us to not highlight our down times, or lonely moments but to focus on things of happiness. She says, “Find out what replenishes you. You always know what drains you, so take time to learn what nourishes and feeds your soul”. Karri Turner is the Pastor of Emerging Generations at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, under the Leadership of Dr. Jamal Bryant in Atlanta, Georgia where she pastors members ages newborn to 40 years of age. Karri holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the legendary Morris Brown College and a Master of Divinity Degree from The Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Karri is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Ministry with a concentration in Leadership + Christian Renewal. Karri is a published author, marketplace leader and ordained clergywoman. Visit to connect with Pastor Karri Turner and to purchase her books, “She’s Lit. 40 Daily Prayers of Light” and “The Girl Bible”. As the holiday approaches, consider sending a friend one of Karri’s signature prayer kits as a gift, also found on her website.

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Roosevelt MINISTER


Minister Roosevelt Boles, Jr. is a Gospel singing sensation with a voice that is as big as his personality. He was born in Mount Vernon, New York . His family, later relocated to Hampton, South Carolina where he lived for over 20 years. At a very young age, Minister Boles demonstrated an insatiable appetite for ministry. In 1994, he was ordained a minister under the Mount


Calvary Holy Churches of America. We are honored to highlight Mr. Boles in this interview and hope that you enjoy it too! Be sure to follow him on all of his social media platforms and we ask that you support his music! Stop by his Social Media pages and let him know we sent you!

communiqué Magazine What is your earliest memory of singing for an audience, tell us about it? RB: My earliest memory of singing for an audience was at the age of 8. I was given a solo at my grandparents small church in Early Branch, South Carolina. It was my very first public performance and I still recall it as if it were yesterday, leading the song, “Soon and Very Soon”. The church was still as normal and very calm, my grandmother kept asking me was I ready, I sat still as my hands were sweating and my heart was beating. My grandfather leaned towards me and said, you are not singing for us, you are singing for GOD so give GOD your best, as if it was going to be your last time to please him. The moment came as quick as he got the last word out. I walked up and I was too short to be seen over the pulpit, I was standing on the side of it and recall saying, GOD you need to show up. I proceeded to sing and the entire church (when I opened my eyes) was up and clapping and it seem like, as the old people would say, THEY CAUGHT THE HOLY GHOST. LOL. After that I was the Sunday morning singer to lead songs at the church. communiqué Magazine When did you release your first project, tell us about it? RB: My first project titled ‘Hallelujah, Thank You Jesus’ was released in 2006. It was my first time realizing that I was not only a singer, but a song writer as well. The project was birthed out of my life story, and not taking the time to heal from my mother’s death. May 10, 1999 (two days after my birthday) GOD called my mother, Fornia A. Boles, from labor to reward. I had never been so numb and just never took the time to mourn. As ‘church folk’ we are taught that we should not mourn, in spite of the bible speaking that they that mourn shall be comforted. I was strong for everyone and I was forgetting myself and then one day I totally lost it. So, on this album I wrote a song to pay homage to my incredible mother. The song “Mama I Miss You” took off with all who heard it and gave my career consistent bookings at churches all across the world for Mother’s day. This was just the beginning of something I never even dreamed of as a child. communiqué Magazine Do you believe that music is therapy? RB: I certainly do believe that music is therapy, as it [music] is a universal language that can convey and change ones mood and the atmosphere. Even different cultures are made common at the sound of music. That is amazing especially because we have different languages, dialects, and beliefs. For me, I can’t fathom not having music as a part of my existence. communiqué Magazine What does music mean to you? RB: Music to me is the runway for entering into our heaven of heavens, holy of holy. It is something that changes our moods, feelings, and a lot of time , our thoughts. Music, to me, also produces beauty of form and expressions of emotions. I always say, I could not be without it, or it without me.

communiqué Magazine What is the latest project you have released? RB: My latest project “These Are The Things You Are” was released in 2015. The project was blessed to peak in the top of the chart at #33 and caught the attention of Iconic Kirk Franklin who shared this song on his radio show for months. This gave my ministry another level of unexpected miracles and notoriety. communiqué Magazine Who are some of your music mentors? RB: Wow!!! That is certainly a loaded question. I find all talents as mentors as they all have something that is needed and unique. I would start to say, my mother Fornia Boles, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Lisa Page Brooks, Daryl Coley, James Moore, John P. Kee, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, and Marvin Winans. communiqué Magazine What has been your biggest moment in your music career? RB: Wow. My biggest moment has really been my entire career as I had no idea that I would be given such the opportunities that I have. I am so grateful to GOD for all of them as I did not, nor do I feel, I am worthy of this platform. But I accept it because GOD has ordained it and I hold it with such dignity and integrity that I will never compromise. I am reminded, as my mother taught me, never sing a song that you do not live up to. She would say, people can sing a lie as well as they tell one. So, I hold myself to that level of accountability. But out of so many of them, I would say it would be charting the BDS music chat in the top 33. Roosevelt tell us that his next big thing is to release a new project in 2021 and introduce a group (T1 Sound) that have been a part of his life for 28 years. He says, “I am certainly pushing forward with the entertainment group and other business ventures that GOD is releasing me to”. Roosevelt tells us that he is going to continue to obey the voice of GOD and possibly start his own entertainment group. He wants to help independent artists navigate with excellence and integrity. Visit Roosevelt’s website at Readers can locate Roosevelt Boles at the following social media outlets: Facebook Roosevelt Boles Roosevelt Boles Fan Page II Twitter @PrinceofWorship Instagram @Roosevelt Boles

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An Intimate Talk About Healthy Inner Fitness with Ray Leonard, Jr. The pressures and stress of being a celebrity child can carry over into adult life. The strength of this story is how Ray Leonard, Jr. uses his posture in the industry, along with his personal know-how and gift of positive communication, to enhance and encourage himself while inspiring others. This global speaker is on a mission to share tips, resources, and ‘real talk’ on how to live a life of prosperity, peace, and fulfillment.


Ray Leonard, Jr. is a husband, father of four amazing children, coach, mentor, successful entrepreneur, and active community member. Ray is the son of Ray Charles Leonard, popularly known as “Sugar” Ray Leonard, and Juanita Wilkinson. His parents divorced in 1990. Ray graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. Ray travels all over the world speaking to people about

encouraging topics. He speaks to audiences with firsthand knowledge of depression caused by stress and peer pressure of being a member of a celebrity family. Not because of the fame, which did come on to the family fairly rapidly, but more so the unpleasant memories Ray has of watching his father abuse his mother, Juanita. Young Ray was stifled in his ability to help his mother. Back in the day, children were taught, emphatically, that what happened in the home, stayed in the home. This started a cycle of secrets and unleashed anger to be bottled up inside many children, including young Ray. Children that have unhealed hurt will become adults that discover they need healing from childhood. Just like many people that are stepping forward to make a difference, Ray was exposed to a father that drank and abused drugs. Ray has never sought professional therapy, but he certainly is Blessed with a support system, and namely a business partner that is a licensed Psychologist. He is encamped with people that listen to him, and he listens back. Ray tells us that his father suffered from depression. Ray has vowed to break the cycle of depression within the generations of his family. Destructive behavior, diversity and inclusion, and fostering positive environments are all topics that Ray speaks on while delivering stellar talks to soldiers, civilians, and youth. Ray did not start out seeking a career as a motivational speaker, in fact, he got his start when he was invited to come speak at a San Diego military base. He went, armed with his personal experience and a desire to share his testimony and from that opportunity, his speaking career was launched.

“I never wanted to be the person that follows in the shadows” - Ray Leonard, Jr.

Ray spoke to me from a place of concern and care for others. His message of hope and encouragement shined through the entire interview. He came across as authentic and not canned and that is also how he says he delivers his speeches. I am certain that his transparency, and speaking from a place of humbleness led him to becoming the phenomenal platform speaker that he is.

“I never wanted to be the person that follows in the shadows”Ray Leonard, Jr. Ray is developing a formal mentoring program and he is writing a youth survival guide that will double as a workbook. It is scheduled to be released Winter 2020. Ray says, “I started writing the book while at home with my kids during this Covid19 situation.” He says the book talks about stress, peer pressure, and mental health and it is a journal type book that kids can write down their thoughts, issues, and pains on how they are feeling at the time. They can go back and look at it and say you know what, this was a task for me, but I don’t have to feel bad about it because that is where I was at that time, but I am getting better now. I applaud Ray for standing up to help others. He has many things he could be doing, yet he made a choice to serve others

in the capacity that many would have shun away from. Ray, like many other celebrities, are in support of mental well being and the mental inner fitness, and for that we applaud those that can help. Yet, there are many that can’t help because they too need help. Ray, along with his business partner, offer support and counseling services to help people get the help they need to be mentally ready to face life challenges, particularly those areas of life that cause mental health challenges like depression. Depression, defined as feelings of severe despondency and dejection, does not discriminate. Communication is key and journaling is essential. Every person is unique in their quest to be happy and healthy. Find a way to connect with someone that understands all too well the need to heal, and is taking necessary steps to help others heal too. Visit to connect and engage with Ray. He is the host of ‘It’s Your Life’ Podcast and is a successful entrepreneur. He lives by the motto, of which he credits to his grandfather, #knowbetterdobetter.

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Rise Ben Tankard is a Leader in Every Sense of the Word

Written by Corretta L. Doctor Ben Tankard started life with high hopes. He knew he would rise to success, because he started in a low place that offered not much more than the pressure to level up. Not only did he fulfill his dreams of creating a life of success and fortune, he has created a loving home life for his family and created a generational wealth plan for his children’s children and so on. Known widely as the Godfather of Gospel Jazz, Pastor Ben Tankard’s entire music career is based on gospel and jazz. Ben Tankard is a leader by all accounts of the word. Leadership guides his faith, family, and phenomenal music career. His latest single, ‘Rise’, was released in 2018 and has won him the most awards than any other ‘single’ that he has released. Since 1990 Ben Tankard has been creating beautiful music. There is no wonder that ‘Rise’ was nominated in 2019 for a Stellar, NAACP Image, and Dove awards. The single also landed as a Billboard No. 1 song. With this remake of Herb Alpert’s ‘Rise’, Ben is repeating the songs ability to win; Alpert earned a Grammy Award in 1979 in the category Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The song was originally written and performed by Randy and Herb Alpert. Ben tells Urban Sentinel, “The song Rise works well in secular and gospel genres.” Visit 30

to learn more about this man of God who is leading by example as a Pastor, Husband, Father, Gospel-Jazz artist, Pilot, Reality TV star, and Mentor. Ben Tankard and wife, Jewel are the founding Pastors of their church, Destiny Center Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Destiny Center has a credo of three important words: Faith, Increase, and Destiny. In today’s world these words are echoing loudly through homes in a way they never have before. As our country has been given a great test of its faith, primarily because of so many uncertainties among us, that faith is easily shaken. The future of what we once called ‘a normal day’ is no more. Faith, more than ever, has become a word of comfort and a way of living. We are all praying for increase. We need an abundant increase in our lives on many fronts. There is no limit to the expectation of greater things to come. Those who have never been faced with having to find a spiritual guidance have found their way. We are seeing churches open doors in ways they never opened them before, literally and figuratively. The destiny promised to all is more evident as hard times call for soft approaches. People need guidance in gentle and clear forms. Many more are turning to religion and seeking understanding of the conditions of our world. When I asked Ben his view on this pandemic, he said “people are being forced to use corners of their mind that have never been used before.” A man that started life shoveling chicken manure at age 13 is now leading a congregation of faithful members and has created a path for many to follow. Destiny Center is named appropriately and the church offers much more than a membership. Visit www. where you can learn more and watch live sermons or view past sermons. The church offers an online campus with an option of e-membership.

Jewel Tankard is the co-Pastor and by far is that where her title ends. Jewel is a mastermind Global Economist. She is a Money Mentor. She is an Author. The list goes on of accomplishments in her career and Jewel is certainly not new to the world of success. Her savvy business acumen has been a part of her endeavors since she was a young lady starting out into the world of business ownership. With a global reach in entrepreneurship Jewel believes in financial empowerment for all people and is the Founder of Millionairess Club, a mentorship organization where she inspires members to create positive and financially rewarding changes in their lives. Visit www. to read about the many ways to grow with Jewel’s organization and become a part of a community that promotes generational wealth and teaches you how to secure your financial future. Ben and Jewel share their ministry, marriage, music and television careers, and their home life with an amazingly beautiful blended family. With their five adult children, who are all living blossoming and exciting lives of their own, The Tankards also have six absolutely adorable grandchildren watching them leave an impressive mark in this world. Leading by example means teaching those that come behind you the lessons that will carry through to the next multiple layers of generations to come. Through love, compassion, and an assignment from God, the Tankards have this right. They are Blessed. Take a few minutes and sit back, relax, and put all the worries of the world aside while you listen to Ben Tankard’s ‘Rise’. Video, YouTube, 9/27/2018 by Ben Tankard

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Civil Rights’ Baby, Author & Activist

Sharon Parker

tells us Human Rights is the Real Issue at Hand By Alesha Brown

Sharon Parker was born during one of the worst times in American’s history, post-slavery. She shares her wisdom to tell us why Human Rights is the real issue at hand during times like these. Born in 1963 in rural Calvert County, Maryland, Sharon Parker was too young to understand all the fear, tears, and turmoil in the United States of America due to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other racial and social injustices. Similar to today, many Blacks pursued higher education to work their way out poverty, were paid less than their Caucasian counterparts, and were subject to police brutality and injustice. When she described how there was not a lot of effort put into solving crimes against Blacks, and even when the perpetrator was caught, the punishment was

light, I thought about how sad it was that almost 60 years later the same holds true. As the third of 12 children, Sharon knows the struggle many face today in trying to put food on the table for their family in and out of a pandemic. Her parents and grandparents were tobacco farmers, fishermen, domestic homemakers, and construction workers, but made very little money compared to Whites. (Again, the same can hold true for many today, although some would argue that more opportunities exist for advancement.) Sharon even recalled the family being homeless in 1968 because her parents could not afford to repair a fire that occurred in their family home owned by her great grandmother. As a Civil Rights’ baby, life was very

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rough for her, her parents, and siblings. They were all separated for a short period of time and lived with different family members and neighbors until her parents found a place for us to live. This was common for many Black families who owned their home where she resided. Flash forward to today: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Hispanic households have been more likely to lose income and experience difficulty making rent or mortgage payments, according to our analysis of data from the Census Bureau’s new weekly Household Pulse Survey (HPS) . Researchers found that: • 53% of Black households experienced a decline in employment income since mid-March, much higher than the share of Asian/ other ethnicity (44%) and White (39%) households. • Renters were more vulnerable than homeowners: 57% of which were Black. • Among homeowners, 49% of Black homeowners lost employment income since mid-March, compared with 40% of Asian/other ethnicity and 36% of White homeowners. With over 30 years of work experience with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Sharon Parker can attest to this reality. She affirms that discrimination like what Blacks faced during the Civil Rights era is back in all forms and could not have happened at the worst time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so many are at risk of losing their home or being put out of their rental property. Numerous economic and social factors have kept Black homeownership rates low over the decades due to housing disparities, which she believes should be addressed by a professional economist. Her advice? All need to educate themselves about Title VIII of the Fair Housing Act and, most importantly, vote in the November 2020 election. With all the above in mind, I asked the Civil Rights’ Baby how she felt about the state of the world today. She said it would be impossible to put into words what she felt without writing at least another book. She did point out, however, that it all boils down to human rights. Police brutality, protests, and civil unrest have been a part of America’s history for centuries and it is clear to most, what drives it…greed, hate, power, and miseducation. She points to Blacks like Congressman John Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Congressman Elijah Cummings, Rev. C. T. Vivian, Mary McLeod Bethune, Sojourner Truth, and many others did everything in their power to encourage the next generation to not fall into the numerous social and economic traps that were designed to lead them down the wrong path to be victimized. She puts a special emphasis on these leaders because when she reflects on her life experience and wisdom acquired through the Civil Rights icons, the importance of remembering history and all the iconic leaders and unsung heroes who inspired each of us to build up our confidence to love self and lead the next generation is resounding.


She encourages people to revisit the history of the following eras: • The Civil Rights Movement • Jim Crow Law • WWII • Rosa Parks • The Little Rock Nine • Woolworth’s Lunch Counter • Freedom Riders • The March on Washington • Bloody Sunday • Voting Rights Act of 1965 • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassination • The Fair Housing Act of 1968   Again, it all goes back to Human Rights. What mattered during Slavery, Post-Slavery, Civil Rights, and in our time still matters and that’s Human Rights. Sharon reminds us that whenever racism raises its ugly head in a massive way, and the words Civil Rights is heard loud on national and international platforms in all industries, history has repeated itself. When we see education, social, racial, and economic disparities in America as it was in the 1960s, history has repeated itself. Every person on the planet has the responsibility to respect human life. Everyone has the power to be intentional, so go forward and lead. Now is the time to find our Civil Rights’ voice and lead a good fight for the disadvantaged and unserved. Now is the time and the world is watching, listening, and waiting for the next John Lewis unsung hero. Will it be you?

Celeste Bethell Purdie: After She Jumped By Stacey Henry-Carr

“Dreaming while awake can be life-changing, as it helped me walk into a new future versus falling back to what was comfortable.” This quote by Celeste Bethell Purdie is a perfect way to introduce the Human Resources (HR) professional turn mega entrepreneur and author. Celeste made an impactful “jump” in 2016 that changed the landscape of her life. It went from looking good to being fabulous. What makes her special? While building her business she finds ways to share with others how to move their lives in an upward trajectory. She recognizes that part of the journey to self-fulfillment is in the service and support of others and in each part of her journey she finds a way to serve. Her service started with the United States Air Force, then 25 years as an award-winning HR professional, and now serving others through Real Estate, Ecommerce, and most recent sharing her story in a book called Women Creating Impact. Celeste’s journey is a familiar one to me and many others. I once found myself at a crossroads between my comfort zone and the freedom to live unapologetically. It was with some internal conflict and the sorting through external noise that Celeste was able to make that jump over her crossroads and forever changed her story.

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Do you work in the perceived stability of a corporate job making a good salary under the premise that you play an important role in the business? Did you one day realize that you were replaceable? If so, then Celeste’s story is for you. As an HR professional, Celeste spent many days encouraging and supporting employees on one side of the coin and the other side terminating their employment and supporting business initiatives that did not align with her values. Often, we know when things, people, and situations are not for us when they no longer nourish our soul, and yet we keep going. But what do you do when that thing is your job? The decision for change can only be made by you. Celeste’s change came a year after she had an accident while driving to a work meeting. She was driving to deliver a message that went against her values. Although she walked away from the accident it left her with three herniated discs, many months of physical therapy, the need for pain killers and muscle relaxers. It was through this pain and discomfort that she continued to work as a regional HR professional. Celeste did not respond to the spiritual nudge that came from the accident until one year later. She confidently said yes to fruitful entrepreneurship that allowed her to create various streams of income, serve others, and spend quality time with those she loves. I asked Celeste what made her write her story and she explained that she always knew she had a story to share and many people asked her about how did she walk away from a six-figure income? As an HR professional, she met many employees who were afraid to jump. Celeste said many already quit in their minds but stayed at the job. She wanted to share her feats so that other people in similar situations will know there is an alternative. They can be happy while they work. Her chapters in Women Creating Impact outline her career journey along with secret tips on how she created her successful life after her corporate job. Celeste said HR was a lonely industry and although she made some genuine connections with other HR professionals, she missed out on other people within the business because of her role. This was something she longed for and is now present with her new role as an entrepreneur. She is a real estate agent who helps people to purchase and sell, a real estate investor with multiple properties, e-commerce as a brand partner for Neora, author, and her latest venture with her husband is a wine and beer wholesaler. Celeste had to reinvent herself by shifting


her identity from what she did to who she is. Gone are the days where she worked 60-hour weeks and was tied to her two mobile phones. She has multiple streams of income and unlike her corporate role some weeks, she does not work 40 hours. I asked Celeste what epiphany she had after she left her job? She said I recognized that the perceived income I thought I was making was being taken away with the need to do my hair, nails, and clothes to be presentable for the office. She said I guess I was young and was just chasing the dollar. What sacrifices are you willing to make for peace? Celeste is consistent with the way she does business. She recognizes that her past experiences are beneficial to her new journey. Those multiple hats she wore were a part of the plan to get her to this place and time. She expresses gratitude for all her experiences and knows that they were building blocks. Celeste was elated as she shared some of the personal wins of being an entrepreneur. The trade-offs were her being present with the people she loved, traveling with family and friends, and creating solid relationships with those people she could not connect with before. Celeste’s story is unique to her life, but familiar to many. If you are ready to trade your multi-tasking corporate hat for more mindful living, sharing with others, providing solutions, and waking up with gratitude and internal joy, you should ask Celeste Bethel Purdie how she did it. Connect with Celeste Bethel Purdie and join her joyful community.


For Making Me Wait

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Waiting is something not enjoyed by many but something many of us have to do from time to time. Wait is a four letter word that sometimes insults us when we’re asked to do it. Having to wait is often very hard and very unpleasant, yet our greatest blessings are found while in waiting. Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. This is a very well known passage of scripture that sounds good but in many cases is very hard to do. To have faith enough to wait on purpose is a weapon the enemy can’t counter. They who wait ““on purpose” not out of fear, but because they truly believe God will come through for them will find that God will not fail them. They that wait on the Lord on purpose, those who trust God no matter what or how long it takes encounter a move of God’s hand in uncommon ways. His grace overtakes our problems and situations and protects us from the enemies intentions. Having the picture fixed in your mind that you are waiting on God, not your first, second, or forth cousin twice removed, but God the one who will not fail you is what is needed for a waiting victory.

Our waiting causes us to be POISED TO REAP the benefits of our purpose. Often times God wants to distinguish you, he places you in a light of distinction either by your blessings or your adversities. With God nothing you go through is wasted. All things really and truly do work together for your good. A period of waiting always proceed New Creation. When God is about to do something new in your life you will often find yourself in his waiting room. If you’re in the waiting room right now it’s by appointment only. The evening and the morning will bring about a new day. Do not allow TREPIDATIOUS THINKING to stop you or your blessings. There are some who won’t make the trip with you. Sometimes we don’t want to let them go and God have to perform what I call relational amputation. Be careful to surround yourself with friends and family who love you paramedically. You know, the ones who will come to the place of your Lifecrash or accident and pull you to life. Keeping love around you is important. It hurts sometimes but if you love until it hurts when the pain subsides only LOVE abides. At these little wait stations in life we learn and grow often without even realizing we’re changing at all. It’s time to breath in, breath out and move on. Get up, and this time make your bed. A well made up bed is the essence of many pulls and tucks. In life sometimes you have to pull yourself into some places while you tuck yourself into others to ready yourself for your new day. No more getting up in life, running to the bathroom and returning to the same old spot of do nothing. New beginnings are found at old ending.

This state of mind triggers our deepest most inner FAITH. Tell yourself, I trust God for my here and now and my there and then. Wait on Purpose, expect and turn each day into a day of possibilities and victory by expecting everyday to be the day. If it doesn’t happen on So rejoice, be glad, and tell him Thanks For Making Me Monday get up on Tuesday looking for it again. Wait. It was hard but it made you better, it blinded you for a while but it was in that blindness You discovered They that wait, if at anytime they are tried to the point your destiny and found your purpose. Waiting helped of discouragement or weakened by the struggle ““They you let go of what You thought You wanted and embrace Shall Recover”. They shall change their strength as their what you really needed. Tell Him “Thanks For Making work is changed. They shall have strength to labor, Me Wait!!!” strength to wrestle and strength to resist. You will walk and run into “DUE SEASON”.


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SOCIAL Experience the


Who S. Monique Smith-Person

She is undeniably the face of missing children everywhere, S- Monique Smith also known as “Monique” is advocating, speaking and changing lives! After surviving decades of severe childhood abuse, Monique found out that she, DID NOT EXIST! Monique discovered that the woman who had raised her, may have stolen her from her mother in New York. This news sent Monique on a question frenzy — What was her real name? How old was she? Where was she born? Who was her biological mother?

What The Social Experience

It is an opportunity to create a private [virtual] group of people that will come together to learn how S. Monique’s journey of being abducted at birth evolved into a lifelong mission of advocacy for missing persons. The book, film, and discussions change hearts, minds, and society as a whole. S. Monique Smith-Person invites you to pull together a group of friends or colleagues and join her for The Social Experience where you will watch and discuss the film, “The Longest Living Jane Doe”, discuss the book, “I Am The Ancestor”, and learn how you can be the voice for missing persons.

When Anytime

All you need is Internet Access and a group of friends! Choose a date and time and contact the staff to schedule your group for The Social Experience.

Where Worldwide

The virtual digital space allows for anyone in the world to book The Social Experience.

Why Hope

This story of hope has been very influential in raising awareness and bringing about positive change in the areas of Child Abductions, Human Trafficking, and Human rights. Each person in your group will: • Receive a copy of the book, “I Am The Ancestor”, • Attend the Virtual Screening of “Longest Living Jane Doe” • Meet and Greet with Author and Film Director, S. Monique Smith-Person • Group Q&A Session with S. Monique Smith-Person Visit to learn more.

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Anita Ms.


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Written by Corretta L. Doctor Her voice is like silk, it is unique and soul stirring. Grammy Award nominee, Ms. Anita M. Wilson has a presence in the gospel music industry that is undoubtedly one of the most classy, graceful, and distinct voices you will ever hear. The heart and soul of Anita is as golden as her amazing sound flowing through the airwaves. Born and raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, since 2002 Anita has superbly and progressively solidified a rewarding career as a Music Executive, Artist, and Songwriter. Married to her best friend, Rick Robinson, Anita and her husband Rick are in the process of preparing for her next full music project. They are gathering ideas and allowing those ideas to marinate before they move into full production. Since the COVID-19 pandemic disabled the movement and work for most of the world, Anita and Rick have been recording from their home studio, working 44

remotely with singers and engineers. Anita smilingly reveals, “Our creative process moves in phases. We merge our ideas and labor over what feels best for each project”. Together Rick and Anita have produced all of her music. Their life together is fun, laid back, committed and solid while proudly enjoying the beautiful journey of parenting their daughter Jolie Ari Robinson. Anita defines success as an adjustment to our mindset. She says, “there is an illusion that success equals awards, radio play, and overflowing bank accounts. However, the reality is that success is recognizing the gift. You are the gift. Not winning awards can bring on deflated feelings, but it is important to remember that people who dig what you do will rock with you whether or not your mantle is full of awards. It’s the quality of the music and your impact on them that is most important. ”. “I am sometimes viewed as just a singer but there are many other layers to what I bring to the music industry,”

says Anita. A humbling opening statement made by Anita speaks volumes to her dedication to creating solid good music and her highly professional business acumen. Positioned to help others in the industry, Anita takes her lessons learned in the industry and shares tips with emerging artists on how to be successful in managing their careers in music. “Guard it like your baby”, says Anita. She tells us that although she has learned a lot, she has a lot more to learn. Her top two nuggets are simple but imperative; “Maintain ownership and study the ‘greats’. Be a hybrid of your influences and create something unique.” Anita also adds that she is grateful to have begun her solo career in her mid-thirties because she knew who she was and who she was not. She encourages new artists to be self-aware of what makes them special and to not feel the pressure to conform for any reason. For nearly ten years, Anita Wilson was a hand-picked member of Donald Lawrence & Company. As a solo artist Anita has garnered three Grammy nominations for albums: Worship Soul (2013), Vintage Worship (2015), and Sunday Song (2018). For 2020 she presents ‘Dance Soul’. Ms. Anita Wilson is president and CEO of her independent label, Reflection Media Inc. (RMI). Through RMI she is challenging the status quo of how music is done. In particular, during times as uncertain as COVID-19 and unrestful as our nation’s current state, Ms. Anita Wilson has used the freedom of being an independent executive and artist to speak out against injustice. Anita enjoys the freedom of moving and speaking freely about the conditions and causes that are most important to her, which affect us all .

gigs to church services. It is clear that Anita is living out her dreams of keeping her family’s legacy alive in music and ministry. Her sister, Freshun Wilson sings and is an actress. You may have seen her in Tyler Perry’s ‘A Madea Family Funeral’. Anita’s brother Fredrick Wilson, Jr. is a minister, musician, songwriter and Community Leader. Anita is organically honest with her art, her approach, and her authenticity in every endeavor. She is always a student. As an artist and music executive, Anita is always learning and teaching. She focuses on two areas of business: the music ministry and the music business. They are two different things and you have to study the craft and the important aspects of business associated with the craft. Ownership is important and you have to make yourself known in the industry. She owns the majority of her music catalog which she will continually support with fresh energy and marketing efforts. “Adapt and be present,” says Anita. Anita Wilson released Dance Soul in April 2020. This EP contains remixes of seven songs from her previous Grammy nominated albums. It debuted in the top 10 on iTunes Dance charts. Celebrate and support Ms. Anita M. Wilson in all of her music projects. Visit her website at www.MsAnitaWilson. com and Follow her Instagram account @msanitawilson.

Anita credits both of her parents, the late Pastor Fredrick Wilson and the late Lady Anita L. Wilson, for her early introduction to music. For all of her life, Anita’s father was a pastor, singer and musician. Early in Anita’s life, her mother was Choir Director. Before Anita’s parents were in ministry they used to sing together in a plethora of venues that included club communiqué Magazine 45

Isaac Solomon

Parha m is a professional career musician with 35 years of performing in excellence with his Saxophone.

Written By Corretta L. Doctor Born and raised in the Edmondson Village area of Baltimore, Maryland, Isaac began playing the saxophone in seventh grade. Isaac is the youngest of three children born to the late Solomon Isaiah Parham and Vera Mae Parham. Isaac’s Mother, who used to play the clarinet, still lives in Maryland. His father played the guitar. Isaac has one brother, Wendell and one Sister, Melinda. Thinking back to his childhood, Isaac recalls asking his brother, “Man, what’s that solo sound I hear playing in that piece by the Temptations?” Wendell told him, that sound is a saxophone! From that moment Isaac knew he wanted to play the sax. Later in life, Isaac learned that it was actually a synthesizer that he heard in that Temptations song, yet he was already deeply entrenched into the Sax and the story never ended from there. Isaac’s greatest inspiration comes from the work and art of Grover Washington, Jr., an American jazz-funk/souljazz saxophonist that died in 1999. Throughout the 1970s 46

and 1980s, Washington made some of the genre’s most memorable hits, including “Mister Magic”, “Reed Seed”, “Black Frost”, “Winelight”, “Inner City Blues” and “The Best is Yet to Come”. In addition, he performed very frequently with other artists, including Bill Withers on “Just the Two of Us”, Patti LaBelle on “The Best Is Yet to Come” and Phyllis Hyman on “A Sacred Kind of Love”. He is also remembered for his take on the Dave Brubeck classic “Take Five”, and for his 1996 version of “Soulful Strut”. Isaac studied music at Frederick Douglass High School where he was in the music careers program. Isaac attended the Peabody Preparatory, a program for inner city youth of Baltimore to learn arts and of course Isaac studied and performed music. It was a great program, and as a young kid learning the business and the craft of music, it was fairly cool to also be earning a few bucks while in the program. Isaac says that over the years he has seen good things happen and adds, “Music has been a true success. Technology has been the biggest change in the industry. Massive soundboards have been replaced by small equipment such as iPads.” Isaac humbly tells us that

his greatest success is knowing he is leaving a legacy of positive influence in other musicians. “There are things that they [other musicians] come and thank me for. There are so many saxophone players out there and it can be hard to find your voice among the vast amount of players, but I am grateful to those that recognize my work.” Isaac shares a story about how he attended a jam session once, and there was a young man in his 20’s or so playing the sax. Isaac tells us that he heard things that he never heard before coming from a horn. So, he said he was talking with some of the other musicians and they told Isaac that the young man was in fact very good and that the young man learned to play so well by watching Isaac play his Sax over the years. There is that old adage, you never know who’s watching. Isaac is teaching and the students are automatically showing up. One of Isaac’s career highlights happened years ago when he traveled to Montreal to perform with Dee Dee Bridgewater and David Bunn. One of my career highlights in the Entertainment industry is when I traveled to Baltimore for the African American Authors Expo (AAAE) with Beverly Broadus Green, Author and Celebrity mother of ‘Snoop Dogg’. During that trip, Beverly was a guest on a local Baltimore news segment and Isaac performed during that same segment. I have never loved the sound of an instrument more than the sound I heard coming from Isaac’s saxophone. To this date, he is still my favorite Saxophone player and I have heard many instruments, and many saxophones, in my day. Isaac owns many saxophones, but he has two that are his normal tools for success! He has an endorsement deal with Kim’s Korea Saxophones. Joining the Kim’s family

with other great musicians throughout the world, to include Marlon Boone, Eric Davidson, and Kose Kikuchi to name a few, is a beautiful accomplishment for the very talented Isaac Parham. Isaac attributes his success to God. He is a faithful member of Morning Star Baptist Church. He credits his amazing wife, Renee Harvin Parham, for being the power behind the pen that helped Isaac get the Kim’s endorsement deal. Along with many great things Isaac had to say about his lovely bride of two years, he wanted to be clear that it is Renee’s love, encouragement, and uncompromising support that keeps that smile on his face and the ongoing flutter in his heart. Isaac is the father to five adult children, they are the beats to his heart. Devon, Quinn, Courtney, Autumn and Isaiah are Isaac’s amazing generation that will come behind him. He is working to leave them a legacy of pride, hard work, positive influence and unwavering faith in God. Isaac couldn’t leave this interview without acknowledging the friendship and support in the industry of his friend, Eric Marner. Eric performed at Isaac and Renee’s wedding! Isaac also thanks Robert Wright, a drummer in the industry, for his friendship and support. Isaac continues to be a phenomenal musician in and around Baltimore as well as around the world. Please stay connected by visiting and never let an opportunity pass you up to hear him perform.


Wikipedia. Retrieved 9.27.2020

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- So Much More than a Food Story:

Meet Sherry McCarver Written by Corretta L. Doctor Let’s set the record straight, Sherry McCarver did not come to

play. She is the Queen of Toledo, Ohio when it comes to grill etiquette and the amazing cuisine she offers up at her Food Truck, MC”CRAVERS” BBQ”. That is not a typo, Mrs. McCarver knew that once patrons tasted her kickin’ and sassy barbecue they would develop an undeniable ‘CRAVING’ for her menu items. “When you are hungry, you crave,” says Sherry. Thus, she named her establishment with a play on her last name, McCarver combined with the word craver. “Barbecue or barbeque (informally, BBQ; in Australia barbie, in South Africa braai) is a cooking method, a cooking device, a style of food, and a name for a meal or gathering at which this style of food is cooked and served.” To clarify, when you grill food, you cook it with direct heat on the bottom and the lid is up. When you barbecue, you cook with a slow circumvented unit of hot air with the lid closed.


When I grew up in my small hometown in South Carolina, about 76 miles south of Columbia, I attended many barbecues! A barbecue meant a gathering that would be made memorable by the smell of charcoal and good food. There would usually be leftovers that we would eat for several days to come. It meant smiles, hugs, loud music, dancing, laughter, folding chairs, babies in walkers, and kids running around the backyard while adults congregated in the front or off to the side. It meant neighbors coming up to the door with bags and boxes of food and drinks and it meant the age old issue that occurs at these gatherings: the inevitable debate about “who” in the family makes THE best barbecue, and then the next part is, “who” makes THE best barbecue sauce? Sherry is in her seventh year of business as the proprietor of MC“CRAVERS” BBQ, a food truck establishment locate at 2265 Dorr Street in Toledo, Ohio. The restaurant was formerly positioned at 5901 Dorr Street. Sherry purchased

the land where she is now and has started building a strong legacy for her children and grandchildren to carry on through the years. Before we get to the menu, let us take you back to the core of this story: how Sherry became inspired. Sherry’s grandmother raised her. The late Mrs. Rosie Reid did a fabulous job preparing her beloved Shery for life, and for the world of business, and both are areas that Sherry excelled in. Grandmother Rosie told Sherry to never forget where she came from and never take NO for an answer. Sherry is the third oldest of seven children, and the only of her six siblings to be in the BBQ business. Sherry remembers all of the influential memories her grandmother instilled along their journey together. Sherry’s grandmother passed away when Sherry was age 19, just at the age where she would need to live out the lessons her grandmother taught her. Sherry, is a school bus Driver and the only of a thriving business that has two mobile food trucks now. Sherry is the founder of a sock drive ‘SOCKS’, a great organized donation setup that Sherry started after watching many children step up on her school bus without socks to keep their feet warm. It would be an awesome idea for every reader to mail a pair of socks to support this opportunity for Sherry to serve the children of her community. See the mailing address below.

S herry O nly C ollects K ids S ocks Mail donated SOCKS, sized for children of any age, to SHERRY McCarver, 2265 Dorr Street, Toledo, Ohio 43607 Sherry is married to Keith McCarver and they have two beautiful adult daughters, Keishe and Shameka. Sherry is thankful to her family for their support. Sherry also thanks Denny Schaffer, a local radio personality for his continuous support. MC”CRAVERS” BBQ has a menu to satisfy your palate. Using fresh grown vegetables from ‘Nebbie’s Veggies’ garden, she offers beautiful and tasty plates. Nebbie’s Veggies is a garden

that is growing on site of MC”CRAVERS” BBQ that was planted by Sherry and Keith’s five year old granddaughter, Stephanie. The garden produces tomatoes and bell peppers, among other vegetables. MC”CRAVERS” BBQ offers a choice of meats that includes fish, chicken, and of course the number one and best-selling menu items are the tasty BBQ Ribs…and not just any ribs! MC”CRAVERS” BBQ has pork and beef ribs that are coated with Sherry’s proprietary sauce and cooked to perfection. They also offer their signature Chili Dog that they have named the ‘Denny Dog’ after family friend, Denny Schaffer. Some of the side dish choices are dirty rice, green beans, pasta salad, and of course Sherry’s baked beans that are a great compliment to any dish you choose! MC”CRAVERS” BBQ caters and delivers for events of any size. Be sure to stop in at MC”CRAVERS” BBQ and tell them we sent you their way. Email MC”CRAVERS” BBQ Staff at . communiqué Magazine 49

A Delightful Chat with

Candy A. Dixon Candy A. Dixon is a gospel singer, songwriter, author, pastor, mother, wife and teacher. In 2004 she released an album titled, “Thank you”. She is and will always be thankful for the grace God shows towards her. Candy will never forget the trials and struggles that she has faced in her life. It is because of these trials that she has dedicate herself to reaching out to others with the “Good News”. Jesus is real, alive, well, and he wants the best possible outcome for each and every one of us. Candy was raised in the church as a young child and she continues to gain her peace, strength, and wisdom from being in God’s presence. We sat and talked with Candy and what a delightful talk it was: cM: When did the idea to write a book go into effect, and what made you finally write it? Candy A. Dixon: The idea and motivation for writing the book was absolutely sparked by the Holy Spirit! I was on a 21 day fast a few years ago and I heard the voice of the Lord so clearly say to me, “Journal how you feel everyday throughout this fast. This one will be different.” And so, I launched out at the word of the Lord. cM: When you started writing, who were you writing for yourself or the readers or both? Candy A. Dixon: I initially wrote the book for myself. I often journal while I’m fasting. However, after seeing the breakthrough, creativity and release of confidence that I received. I wanted to share. I wanted others to experience what God had showered down on me. I then was lead to tailor it for anyone who needs that extra push or accountability partner. It’s for the person who has those great ideas, but always places them on the back burner because they didn’t turn out right the first time. This book is for the procrastinator who just needs to hear someone say, you can do it! Or that was me and I was able to break free and look what I did! You can do it as well and I’ll be on the journey with you whenever you need that cheerleader or prayer partner along the journey. cM: What has the feedback been like since you released your book? Candy A. Dixon: The feedback so far has been amazing and encouraging. Amazon and in person purchasers have commented with: “This book is a great size!!!! Shipping was superfast!!!! Also, I love interactive books that not only gets you thinking but it pushes you. I love it.” “I love this Journal so much; it has not only helped me in my spiritual


life but it has helped me in every aspect of my daily life!!” “It’s simple, but powerful all at the same time” I’m so grateful to know that others are experiencing and encountering God just as I did. May they forever be changed. cM: Is your book for readers of all ages and genders? Candy A. Dixon: This journal is for men, women, boys and girls all over. If you need an extra push to fulfill your goals and dreams this book is for you. If you desire to rekindle your zeal for God and be embraced by his unchanging love, then you are a candidate for this book. I have even read and discussed it with my granddaughter who is six years old. After reading she said she wanted to fast and pursue becoming a dancer. This 21-day devotional is for you and for such a time as now! cM: Tell us about your ministry work. Candy A. Dixon: I have dealt with a number of issues and struggles that have helped to shape my ministry today. I have been blessed with an awesome abilities and gifts of praise and worship, teaching and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ministering with sincerity and transparency, because I know that it touches the very souls of my audience and presents Christ with compassion and honesty. These gifts have opened up many doors for me as an artist and minister. During my years of serving I have been blessed and humbled to share the stage with such artists as Martha Munizzi, Canton Jones, Cissy Houston, Hezekiah Walker, Vickie Winans and Tye Tribbett to name a few. As I continue to live a life pleasing to God I will walk through any door he opens as I share his Good News. He saves, He loves, He forgives and He’s a keeper. cM: Where do you worship? What is your role in the church? Candy A. Dixon: My place of worship is Chosen Generation Ministries 145 Hudson St Newark NJ where I am A worship leader and associate Pastor under the leadership of Senior Pastor and Founder Darrin Monroe and his wife Pastor Lawren Monroe. My husband of 27 years Shariff Dixon and I have humbly served over 20 years at this ministry. Shariff serves as the Minister of Music and my children serve in various capacities as well. cM: Are you a counselor, coach, mentor, or all three or any of the three? Candy A. Dixon: Currently I have no mentees, but in the past I have served as a mentor for children and adults. I use the term accountability partner, which for me fulfils the same purpose. I think being an accountability partner for someone is just being there for them as they move from one place in their life to another and as they face certain hurtles they may need an extra push, support of any kind. It could be financial, time or just and ear to listen. Whatever the need is that people need, I try my best to be. Especially know that we reap what we sow. cM: When you are working with women and men of faith, what approach do you take in ministering them? Candy A. Dixon: When working with anyone I choose to be honest and compassionate The world is rapidly changing before our eyes. People are looking at what they can see, not just talk or what they hear. I think they need to see what compassion, righteousness, love, forgiveness and kindness look like, so I try to shine my light every

day in that direction. I do that so when it’s time to minister it can be received well, because the point is that we want people to change for the best and then offer the same help, compassion, love and so on to the next person. cM: What makes you a standout in the sea of many leaders? Candy A. Dixon: I would hope that my light, my lifestyle although not a perfect life, I pray that it is one that appeals to others. As Paul said,” Follow me as I follow Christ…” So I purposely strive to live and walk in righteousness, kindness, love and compassion. I try to relay this and encourage others to repeat this lifestyle in my journal as well as daily. This is what I hope stands out and draws the reader in and sets me apart for the kingdom. It is ultimately all about the kingdom of God. cM: Tell us about your future as an Author, will there be more books and if yes, what will you write about? Candy A. Dixon: I definitely plan to write a few more books, workbooks and children songs/ books. I am a Preschool teacher and I absolutely love my job! I love the connections and interactions that music brings to them as their being read to, as they listen and sing along. cM: What do you see in your five year plan? Candy A. Dixon: In my five year plan I see great things! I speak and release that for myself in Jesus name. Matthew 21:22 KJV “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.” I see the continued success of my current book as well as a book of Praise and worship songs, morning prayers and exaltations. I journal daily and record some of my morning worship encounters, which are the highlights of my day. So, I would love to put this together with an audio version of prayers and scripture readings. cM: What is the next big thing for you in business, music, and ministry? Candy A. Dixon: I am currently taking guitar classes and I am extremely excited. If I could just learn three good worship songs, I’d play them for my entire lifetime! My heart, my soul loves music and the fact that it taps into a special place of the heart of God. I want to know him and please him in every way that I possibly can. My big thing is doing the will of the father one day at a time. cM: Where can readers contact you? Candy A. Dixon: The E-book or digital version can be purchased via $4.60. or you can access the link via my website www., where you can also order the paperback version for $12.95. The paperback version can also be purchased vis Contact Information: Email: Social Media Instagram: candydixon777 Facebook: Candy Dixon LinkedIn: Candy Dixon For Media, PR and Booking Inquiry:

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The core of Karen Arrington’s being is service to others. She said,” We all need someone no matter how badass we are.” Growing up, Karen was surrounded by strong intelligent black women like her mother and many of her mother’s friends. Community Service flows through her veins. She has become a champion, in her own right, for African American women. Her goal is to change the perception of African American women, globally. Karen Arrington is the founder of Miss Black America USA Pageant, Goodwill Ambassador to Sierra Leone, NAACP Image Award winner, best-selling author, philanthropist, coach, and mentor. Since COVID-19 Karen’s life looks very different. Karen says, “I am fortunate to be able to determine when my day starts and ends. My day always starts with prayer. Every morning I start my day by asking God how He wants to use me that day. Pre-COVID, I spent most of the year living in hotels on business travel.” Post-COVID, Karen has turned her bedroom into a lux suite with everything except turndown service. Her days are generally full of conference calls with clients around the world, team meetings, working on projects, answering emails, checking in with family and friends, and my inner circle. Karen says, “I always find time in my day to hop on the phone and chat with a few of my mentees. Because my clients are in different time zones, some days my day does not end until midnight while other days it may end between 2 PM-7 PM. It varies along with whatever project I’m working on”. Karen has a six-digit number of hours invested in mentorship to date. When asked what was the reason for starting the first hour. Karen replied, “service is in my DNA. I am the daughter of a Civil Rights Activist. Her father was the Mayor of the small town I lived in. My mother was also involved in politics.” Karen recalls watching both of her parents give selflessly of their time to serve others, stand on the front lines of protesting for racial and social justice. Karen remembers standing next to her parents when Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. gave his I Have A Dream Speech. Karen says,” on some level, that moment stuck with me and whenever I see a way to help, give back or support someone else, it is a natural response”. There have been so many things in Karen’s career that have been inspiring but the one thing that has inspired her the most recently is winning a 2020 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Works for her first book, YOUR NEXT LEVEL LIFE: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, And Opportunity for Black Women in America. Karen says, “the book has 7 rules of success that I have used in guiding over a thousand women in successful careers. The book has become a movement and represents my life work. The rules work and every day I receive inspirational notes and emails from women around the world who share how the book has transformed their lives in some way”. When asked who some of the role models were that challenged

and inspired her along her journey, she replied, “undoubtedly, the African American sheroes who I grew up reading their stories. They inspired me to use whatever talent I have to give back to others. Women like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Oprah Winfrey, and of course, my Mother, the

first queen I ever laid eyes on. Karen does not take no as an answer to anything that she believes is going to benefit the global community that she serves. Some of the impacts she made on her community includes: • Launched international campaigns to raise awareness for heart disease research • Negotiated a sponsorship deal with heads of foreign nations • Co-founded the first Diabetes Awareness Day in Gambia, West Africa • Created the nation’s first scholarship pageant for African American women • Secured over $300,000 in financial aid for young black scholars, artists, and emerging leaders • Received leadership and empowerment awards from The Lifetime Network, Jones New York • Was named a Goodwill Ambassador by the last living relative of Kunta Kinte And this is all in a day’s work for the Queen of Service, but Karen Arrington has many more to come. Website: Instagram: Twitter: Facebook:

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Managing Editor Alesha Brown IG @thejoyguru Lead Designer Kimberly Lawton Doctor Front Cover Design Brandon Jolly Brandon Graphics Design Table of Contents First Page Watermark and Page 11 Photographer: Jerry A Barnes Model: Sharday Ogilvie Designer: Vanmiller International HMUA: Sharday Ogilvie Table of Contents Second Page Watermark Page 39 Photographer: Sowele Back Cover C. NaTasha Richburg Photographer: Aisha Butler, Jazzy Studios Credits Page Watermark Image: Martin Studio Photography Model: Destiny Barrera Makeup Artist: Samantha Trionfo Creative Director: Jeff Martin Stylist: Jeff Martin and Samantha Trionfo Location: Skyloft F Rental Studio Baltimore, MD Page 8 Photographer: Kimazing Photos Page 15, 16 Photo credit for book artwork: Art God Photo credit for Picture: Rob Roberson Page 21 Photographer: Liz Everett

communiquÊ Magazine does not take credit for any Photographs provided by the interviewees. All images are used with the permission granted by the subjects of the articles or by the Photographers listed on the credits page. Any errors or omissions will be corrected on the magazine’s website or in the subsequent issue.


DJ Bizi Brown Europe IG@djbizibrown


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